As a pool owner, you know that it is best to shock your pool at least once a week, or after heavy use. However, one can come out one day and notice that the clear pool of yesterday is now the den of algae.
Usually, we shock the pool to keep the free chlorine within its ideal range of 1-3 ppm. So, if your pool is invaded by algae and bacteria, you will need to double shock the pool.
But sometimes, double shocking your pool water may not be enough to kill all the algae in the pool. In such a scenario, you will need to triple shock your pool to clear it.
Whether you are double shocking or triple shocking your pool, they all have the same procedure. The only difference is the amount of shock you are using.
It’s often recommended that you use 1 lb of shock for every 10,000 gallons of pool water. To double shock your pool, you need 2 lbs and 3 pounds for triple shock.
Below are the steps you need to take to triple shock your pool:
- Determine the volume of your pool
I’m yet to see a pool owner that doesn’t know the volume of their pool. Though it’s not impossible, it’s rare. So, we assume that you know the volume of your pool.
However, if you are not sure of your pool volume or you have forgotten the correct figure, you can do the calculation to find out by following the guide in this article here. There is a section in the article where we discuss in detail how to calculate pool volume.
- Wear protective gear
Cover your body as much as possible. At least you have your eye goggles, hand gloves, and nose mask. Don’t wear your best clothes to do this. It can be damaged by the chemical.
- Read the instructions on the product packaging.
The instructions you read on the web or elsewhere, like this one, are good. But they are only a general guide to assist you. It shouldn’t overwrite the instructions provided by the manufacturers.
So, take the instructions seriously, and don’t assume that you already know what it is. Instructions can change at any time.
- Test your pool water.
Before you go further, you need to calculate the amount of combined chlorine in the pool. That will help you determine the actual amount of chlorine change needed to break up the combined chlorine.
To achieve that, you need a test kit to measure the free chlorine and total chlorine present. The total chlorine is the sum of the free chlorine and the combined chlorine.
That is, the unreacted chlorine plus the reacted chlorine will give you the total chlorine in the pool water. So, to get the combined chlorine, you need to subtract the free chlorine from the total chlorine.
Combined chlorine = Total Chlorine-Free Chlorine
Once you know that, you can calculate the amount of shock you need to add to your pool by following the simple guide here. Click on the link to learn about the guide.
However, since we are triple shocking the pool, you will multiply whatever you get by 3.
- Dissolve the shock in water
Now that you know the amount of shock to add to your pool, the next thing to do is dissolve the shock in clean water.
Most of the shocks are granular, and you don’t have to add them to the pool like that. If you do so, it may drop to the bottom of the pool and cause spot damage to the floor.
Some manufacturers will even recommend that you dilute the liquid ones. So add the shock to a bucket of water and mix.
Fill a bucket to about two-thirds with water and add the shock. Mix gently with a wooden stick until it dissolves.
Make sure you are putting on your protective gear.
- Pour the shock solution into the pool
You want the shock to go round the pool. Then, you don’t have to pour the shock mixture in one spot.
Go around the pool while pouring the solution so you can easily touch most parts of the pool. This helps for easy and even circulation.
After pouring, allow the water to circulate for about 6-8 hours.
- Retest the pool
Retest your pool to know the current amount of free chlorine in it. If it’s below 1 ppm, repeat the process and add more shock. If it is above 3 ppm, as expected, leave it for about 10–24 hours to drop before you can use the pool again.
When should I triple shock my pool?
As we discussed above, you can only triple shock your pool when it is attacked by a lot of algae.
The more algae blooms in your pool, the higher the amount of shock required to clear them. If your pool is dark green, then you don’t need one to tell you that it has a lot of algae in it.
Can you add too much shock to a pool?
Yes, you can have an excess of shock in your pool, which is not good for your pool and your health as well. It can damage some pool components when exposed for a very long period of time. It can also alter the chemical balance of the water.
Nevertheless, there is no cause for alarm if you mistakenly add too much shock to your pool. The amount will drop with time, especially when it is exposed to sunlight.
Moreover, diluting the water can help to correct the error. However, try as much as possible to avoid such errors. You can read this post to learn how to calculate the required amount of shock for your pool.
Why did my pool turn green after I shocked it?
Chlorine is a strong oxidizing agent. It can oxidize metals like copper and iron to form metallic compounds.
These metallic compounds are the major cause of the green pool after shock. If you use well water in your pool, you are likely to experience this. Also, some algaecides have these metallic ions.
If you use them or well water often enough, you introduce the metals to your pool. Once the pool is shocked by chlorine, the metals become oxidized, turning the pool water green.
You need to test your pool water to determine if there are metallic compounds in it. If not, check the algaecides you use, they might be the source of the metallic compounds.
To solve the problem, you need to use chelating chemicals to remove the copper in the water. You can find the chemicals in the pool store.
Do you put algaecide in before shock?
It is good to support your shock treatment by adding algaecide. However, you don’t put algaecide and shock at the same time.
If you add the two together, you will not get a good result.
To use the two chemicals, you need to shock the pool first, then wait until the chlorine drops to 3 ppm or less before you add the algaecide.
Can you swim after shocking the pool?
After shocking your pool, you need to wait for at least 6 hours before you can enter the pool. But it is advisable to wait for about 12 to 24 hours before using the pool.
But if you use a non-chlorine shock, you can start swimming after about 2 hours.
However, before you can start swimming, make sure that the chlorine has dropped to the ideal range of 1-3 ppm. That is the best way to know when to start using the pool.
Is pool shock the same as chlorine?
Pool shock and pool chlorine are not the same thing. They may be the same chemicals but they differ in the strengths and doses used, and more so, the way they are used.
Pool chlorine is used as a sanitizer that slowly kills bacteria and algae in pools. They are slow releasing and can last longer in the pool.
But pool shock doesn’t work like that. Pool shock is used for the instant release of high doses of chlorine in the pool. It is often used when the amount of free chlorine in the pool drops or when the pool is invaded by a lot of algae.
How long should you run the filter after shocking the pool?
Filter helps to remove dead algae and debris after shock. It is important that you run the filter for 6 hours or more to help clear the pool water completely.
Without the filter, the dead algae will still remain in the pool leading to more maintenance issues.
However, the filter duration depends on the amount of algae in the pool. But at least let your filter run for 6 hours. If the algae in the pool is too much, running the filter overnight or for 24 hours is the best option.
Some people run their filters for more than 24 hours to ensure that no single algae remains in the pool.
How long should I run my pool pump after shocking?
Just like your filter, your pump needs to be on. Without the pump, the filter will not function effectively. Not only does the pump support the filter, but it also ensures that the shock is evenly circulated.
If the pump is not turned on, the chemical will not circulate properly, and that may cause stains and spot damage on the pool floor, walls, and components.
So, your pump needs to run for at least 6 hours. In fact, you need to turn it on as long as the filter is on.
Can I use bleach to shock my pool?
We discussed this topic in detail in this post here. Click on the link to learn the step-by-step guide and more.
Yes, you can use bleach to shock your pool. But you need to be careful with the process. Doing it the right way will enable you to get the best result. So follow the steps in the article linked above.
Can I add shock and chlorine at the same time?
You don’t have to add shock and chlorine sanitizer at the same time. If you try it, you will hardly get the best result.
Since they are almost the same thing and do the same work in different ways, it is better to work with one first, before adding the other.
So, add the shock first and allow the level to drop below 4 ppm before you add your chlorine sanitizer.